House to conduct public hearing on liquidation of NITEL, MTEL

Inside the chambers of the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives on Wednesday has mandated a public hearing on the liquidation of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited ( NITEL ) and Mobile Telecommunications Limited ( MTEL )and on the operational activities of its present management board.

The Committees in charge of the hearing are Privatization and Commercialization, Communications and Finance and Information Technology ( ICT ).

The Committees are expected to find out the present status of NITEL’s investment in some regional and global telecommunication organizations. The committee will also find inquire into the revenue generation from ongoing services rendered to other telecommunication companies in Nigeria.

The House also urged the National Council on Privatization (NCP) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to suspend the planned liquidation of NITEL and MTEL.

Yusuf Tajudeen representing Kogi State led the debate. He noted that successful administrations had made concerted efforts to privatize NITEL and MTEL due to alleged ineffectiveness and loss of unrest on investment.

According to the lawmaker, winners of previous bid process by the BPE failed to meet the prescribed deadline for payment of bid prices.

Tajudeen expressed worry over the NCP’s endorsement of a “guided liquidation strategy” for the sale of NITEL and MTEL.

The legislator said that NCP and the BPE, agreed to sell NITEL and MTEL for an amount that was less than the cost of procuring a GSM Iicense.

He said that if NITEL/MTEL were sold as prescribed, “it will be at great economic loss to Nigeria, considering the telecommunication companies’ investment in some regional and global organizations.”

Leo Ogor of Delta State and Sekonte Davis of Rivers also supported the motion saying that public investigation should be carried out.

The motion was adopted after it was put to vote by the deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha. It was then referred to the Committees on Privatization, Commercialization , Communication , Finance and Information Technology for further legislative in puts.

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